The Manila Stars collectively held their breath in the last second of their game against the hard-fighting Imus Bandera.
Pong Manansala pulled up for a short jumper that was challenged by Riel Cervantes, and had the presence of mind to pass it out to an open Ian Melencio, who was squared for a three-pointer.
Melencio had a good line while heaving from beyond the arc, as his shot hit the front end of the rim before going out, allowing the Robust Energy Capsule-backed Stars to escape with a tense 69-68 win. The victory fortified their chances for a better position in the playoff round of the MPBL Datu Cup.
In escaping with a thrilling victory, Manila improved its win-loss record to 18-4 to temporarily assume second spot in the tough northern division put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
The loss was the 11th in 20 games for the GLC Truck and Equipment-supported Bandera, who remained at sixth spot.